WATCH: Deadliest NYC Blaze in 30 Years Tears Through Bronx Building, at Least 19 Killed

At least 19 people were killed — including nine children — when the city’s deadliest fire in more than 30 years tore through a Bronx apartment high-rise Sunday morning.

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Choking, blinding smoke trapped many of the victims of the five-alarm blaze, which was blamed on a malfunctioning space heater turned on to help ward off the cold temps outside, authorities said.

“I heard a lot of kids yelling, ‘ Help! Help! Help!’ ” resident Dilenny Rodriguez, 38, recalled of the screams echoing through her apartment on the ninth floor of the 19-story building at 333 E. 181st St. in Tremont.

“It was dark. The smoke was really bad. Those kids crying for help,” the emotional woman said.

The blaze broke out just before 11 a.m. and was knocked down about an hour later — but not before what a shaken Mayor Eric Adams called “a horrific, horrific painful moment for the City of New York.”

A firefighter at the scene told The Post, “There were bodies being carried off every floor.”

In addition to the dead, at least 32 more people sustained life-threatening injuries, officials said.

A witness said mothers were falling to the ground in grief as they watched their children succumb.

“We saw moms fainting. They saw their kids dying,’’ said a 13-year-old named Alanny, who spoke to The Post alongside her 27-year-old aunt.

Around 200 FDNY members responded to battle the inferno, which officials say broke out in a duplex apartment spanning the second and third floors when the space heater malfunctioned in a bedroom.

A door left open in the apartment where the fire originated allowed the smoke to spread throughout the building, officials said.

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Engine 48 was the first team to respond to the fire but apparently was short-staffed because of the coronavirus.

“They only had four firefighters instead of the five they are called for because of people out sick because of COVID,” said the FDNY Uniformed Firefighters Association president Andrew Ansbro, calling the blaze the worst the city has seen since 9/11.

“We feel this is an absolute case where staffing would have made a difference.

“Several of the first engines were in the same situation. If there was adequate staffing, the fire could have been put out faster, and people would have received medical aid sooner,” he said.

FDNY officials denied the assertion, saying responding units were fully staffed at the time.

A resident told the Post that people might not have fled the building quickly enough because the fire alarm frequently goes off, so they may have thought it was just another false alarm this time, too.

“The fire alarm goes off in the hallway all the time, at least twice a week,” said the 18th floor resident, who asked not to be named. “What do I do when I watch a movie? I put the volume up because it goes off all the time.

“I don’t know if it’s faulty or what it is. …. People on the third, fourth, fifth and went about their day until they saw smoke,” he said of Sunday’s blaze.

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Fire officials said they would be looking into the fire-alarm system.

Among the dead was a 4-year old, according to police sources.